Mac Pro and Wireless Options

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by stringzz, Feb 27, 2009.

  1. stringzz macrumors member


    Jan 4, 2008
    I have a Mac Pro 2008 and I am thinking of switching from DSL to Cable ISP. This would require me to relocate my modem and router to the other side of the room since the cable outlet is on that side. That would mean I would have to go wireless on my mac pro desktop.

    What are my options? I see that Apple store online does not sell the Airport Extreme Card (PCI Wireless card) anymore.

    Also, would I lose any performance using wireless? I am actually gaining speed going from DSL to Cable 3.0 mbps to 12 mbps. Even though wireless performance is fast(G 11mbps or N 54 mbps), does real world performance suffer?
  2. rockinrocker macrumors 65816


    Aug 21, 2006
    It's not gonna be as fast as ethernet, but the apple wireless card has worked great for me.
    $50 w/ installation, as long as you can lug that beast into an applestore...
  3. velocityg4 macrumors 601


    Dec 19, 2004
    Why not just get a longer ethernet cable? With the several routers and many computers I have owned. I have found Wireless to be slightly slower than Wired on the Internet. Though not enough so to make me run an Ethernet line.

    If you are concerned about having a cable run around your room you could always run the line through the walls.
  4. stringzz thread starter macrumors member


    Jan 4, 2008
    Running a long cable doesn't work well in my situation, open spaces, sliding glass doors.

    I live in a townhome so I dont have an attic to run the lines through, and the wall is common so I can't run through the walls.
  5. bozz2006 macrumors 68030


    Aug 24, 2007
    nearly a year ago, i was forced to begin using wireless for my mac pro, because of the same reasons you stated. I find it to work perfectly well for my needs. the wireless signal isn't as strong as on a plastic macbook but it works well enough, as long as you use a wireless N router. Like was stated before, find an applestore that has the wireless card for your computer in stock. It costs $50, and they'll install it for free.
  6. bntz313 macrumors 6502

    Jul 11, 2007
    I was in this same position about a month ago, what I did was make my own ethernet cable. I bought the tool at lowes(probably can get it at any hardware store) or just buy a longer ethernet cable and route it some how.

    I already had cable laying around when I had at&t, comcast just left it lying there.

    Never mind my comment just read the one posted above^
  7. stringzz thread starter macrumors member


    Jan 4, 2008
    I should be ok with the wireless, I am going from 3 mbps (DSL) to 12 mbps (Cable), so I will see dramtic improvement regardless. I would just love to see the difference in real world tests.

    Does anyone with a wireless Mac Pro and a laptop that they can hard wire, want to do some tests? Go on and provide some metrics. Thanks
  8. bozz2006 macrumors 68030


    Aug 24, 2007
    my internet is a measly 1.5 mbps, and I consistently get 150kbps download speeds with both my mac pro and my macbook, both wired and wireless. you'll be fine, just make sure you have an N-wireless router and that nothing else in your home is running at G speeds, because that will slow everything down.
  9. michael.lauden macrumors 68020


    Dec 25, 2008
    802.11/g really slows down my wifi.

    we should be getting equivelent to a T2 connection and i only get 1.5/mbps MAX.

    not that it runs slow.. but with an ethernet cable plugged in (which running the airport express doesn't have an output for) - it is very quick.

    with wifi you will be fine. also the airport express has a cool airtunes feature.

    which might be good considering if you use cable for your TV - you could put your router there and connect it to (if you own one) your home theatre

    (or in my case, a sony boombox with sub that i jerry rigged to work with my home setup)

    and from there.. airtunes broadcasting heaven!
  10. NightSailor macrumors 6502


    Feb 24, 2008
    Run some wire across the room. What is so hard about that?

    I use my wifi for control programs, or as a backup, or for internet sharing. Wifi is too slow compared to Gigabit Ethernet. Everything works better in Ethernet.
  11. tonyl macrumors 6502

    Jan 18, 2006
    You can set up wireless bridge with two routers, one with your modem, the other one with your Mac Pro. You don't need to install airport card.
  12. ab2650 macrumors 6502a

    Jun 21, 2007
    These would be my choices, in descending preference:
    1) Find a way to run cable (around the baseboard? under carpet at the door?) If that can't happen,
    2) Lug the sucker to a Mac store and have then install an airport chip. (edit: like Rockinrocker said, but is it really only $50?)
    3) Buy an airport card from a third party and install it yourself. I bought a BT module for my Pro from someone here on MR.
    4) Try another brand USB wireless adapter (I hear Belkin's USB adapter works on OS X)
    5) Get a second router that does wireless bridging and connect it to your Pro, and wirelessly to the primary access point/router on the other side of the room. (edit: like tonyl said.)

    Edit: Or what about this for only $50?
  13. stringzz thread starter macrumors member


    Jan 4, 2008
    Well, I lugged my beast down to the Apple store today, and it was manic there. They could not install an airport card for 24 hours. I had them call another store and they were short staffed and could not do it either. The manager said if I was a pro-care member, they could install it right there, and I am not, oh well, I left there frustrated. I went to Fry's because I was going to pick up a new wireless N router for 60 bones. I saw some flat ethernet cable and figured I would go wired route, which is best anyways.

    Testing out the new cable modem speed, I have seen downloads up to 20mbps and uploads up to 3mbps. Dramatic improvement. :D

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